Before you install a fence, ask yourself what your reason is for installing it. If it is strictly utilitarian (keeping the dog in the yard), you can probably get by with a basic chain-link fence. If you are looking to block noise or add privacy, you will want something tall and solid. If you want to protect pets, children, but you also want to add a decorative element to your home’s exterior, whatever its purpose, a fence can function in many ways, but the first step is deciding what you are looking for to choose one that works for you.
Do It Yourself or Hire a Contractor?
Building a fence can be a good do-it-yourself project, but it is hard work and requires special tools. Unfortunately, if you do a poor job, everyone will notice. However, installing a sturdy fence can be a very lengthy process. If a fence is completed correctly it can last a long time and increase the value of your property. Without the relevant experience and knowledge of fence construction and installation, you may end up wasting your time and money.
The ego in most men will tell them that they can do it “all.” Well, you should better keep this ego in check or you may end up doing more damage than good. You need to consider whether you are really saving money by doing a project yourself. There is no golden rule here. You just need to use your judgment. And try your best to not allow your judgment to be clouded by your ego. If you decide that you can handle it, then great, and it may be a good idea to take the hybrid approach mixing and matching between building a fence the do-it-yourself way and hiring professionals to help you.
Most fences need post holes (holes in the ground in which the fence posts are placed). This is the most difficult part of building a fence, so it is critical that the holes are evenly spaced and leveled before the posts are installed. If it is not done correctly, you will end up with a crooked and unsteady fence.
Consider getting a contractor to dig the post holes for you, while you do the rest of the job. The contractor will know how to avoid tree roots, pipes, wiring, underground cabling, and most importantly, intruding on a neighbors’ property. Otherwise, you may find yourself having to hire a plumber to deal with an accidentally burst water pipe.
Types of Fences, Pros and Cons:
There are a wide variety of material choices for residential fences. Your climate, the style of your home and the purpose of the fence will all play a role in selecting the best material. Whether you choose wood, vinyl, wrought iron or another fencing material, you will want to understand the basics of fence installation so you can ensure it is designed and built correctly. With quality materials and proper construction your new fence will last for years.
A white picket fence is quintessential, but before you buy wood posts and whitewash, think about the commitment you’re making. Wood fences may require occasional staining or sealing and can warp and rot over time. Consider a low-maintenance material, such as vinyl, that offers the look of wood without the elbow grease. Other material options include aluminum, steel, wrought iron, and bamboo.
If cost is an issue, mix different types offences. Wood picket fencing could be placed at the front of the home, for example, connecting to chain link fencing in the back. Not only will this combination fence potentially save installation costs, but it also will reduce the amount of fence that might require repainting.
In cold northern climates that experience frost, concrete anchors are necessary for fence posts. Post should be secured 36 inches deep to avoid cracking in a cold snap. For warmer, damper climates, vinyl is your best material choice, as wood is susceptible to water damage.